knitwear

Making a Comeback with Pom-Poms

 

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It started with a hat. It always starts with a hat … or a chair. Anyone catch my reference there? No? That’s completely fine. Anyway, in my case it started with a hat, one preferably full of cables like the ones shown in the picture. But these aren’t just any cables; they’re a different kind of cable at least for me. I found a pretty decent site for cables. It doesn’t have a lot in the glossary, but some of the cables look nice and doable. If anyone knows a good site for cables, don’t be afraid to link me up! I love a good cable.

So the cable was something new, but wait, it doesn’t stop there! I knitted the hat with sock weight yarn, which was a first for me. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but I usually don’t venture too far out as far as yarn goes, and yarn really goes a long way. This meant my whole gauge for hats was thrown off, which is a given, and like my “cooking” I don’t measure things well or at all. I know one of the key things knitters stress is to check the gauge because it would save a lot of time, but I’ve never got around to learning how to check my gauge. For the most part, I’ve been fine. Really, knitting for me is almost like throwing confetti to the wind and seeing where they land, except for the whole being environmentally conscious part. Don’t worry, I would never litter like that!

I did however seriously ran with my project. And I would like to say it didn’t turn out shabby at all, although it’s a little awkward to look at when being worn because it’s slouchy, but not too slouchy and not slightly slouchy either. It’s an awkward kind of slouch. Now I know a lot of people can pull off hats like this, but I’ve always wondered how they do it. I guess they just have great wearing-hats-heads, but for me, the hat was too awkward for my taste if I didn’t adjust it after throwing it on. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have cables on hats, the cables made the hat somewhat stiff, so it doesn’t fall naturally on my head. (Come on, what do I know about hats falling naturally on my head? All of this could be in my head, which it probably is.)

I couldn’t just leave it like that, and I didn’t want to rip the piece and knit it so it was form-fitting. (I have a thing against ripping away a part of the hat and reknitting it once I’m down to my last few stitches, aside from making eye-blistering mistakes of course. The next best solution for me? Cry.

Just kidding. Because pom-poms aren’t sad things. They’re actually fun because they’re like accessories for your hats or scarves or whatever. So I watched a few YouTube videos because I have seriously never made a pom-pom in my life. Quick! Someone, take my needles away! I made my first pom-pom the easy way though (hint: not the technique with the cardboard), but by using a gift card. Well, it turned out to be the size of a golf ball and looked ridiculous on the hat due to its size, so I laughed and made a second one! The one you see here.DSC_0397 (2)

Now I’m still a little worried about having a pom-pom on a hat (even though the hats looks ten times better) because I like to wash and dry my knitwear by machine. I’m quite lazy, but the kind of yarn I have been working with usually allowed it. This sock weight yarn however says to lay it flat to dry, but I’m not even sure I trust having a pom-pom in the washing machine in the first place. It’s part of the reason I stayed clear from attaching pom-poms onto my hats because if it falls apart in the cycle, it would create a huge mess right? Not if you made it the right way. Yeah, well…

I really don’t know. There’s another thing I almost forgot to mention. I read that blocking your knitwear and reshaping it the way you want really helps clean it up—as in no awkward slouch, but I don’t know the first thing about blocking. I heard there were several ways to approach it, and it probably depends on the type of yarn, but I’m really at a lost. Which brings me to my question of the blog:

Are you the kind of person who blocks your projects, and if so, how do you approach it?DSC_0621 (3)

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Winter Frolicking Photo Shoot

DSC_0318Every year, my sister and I have this tradition where we take to our neighborhood streets and run in the snow. Of course, it’s better when it’s snowing, which happened roughly a week ago when we went back home for Thanksgiving break. No warnings or weather alerts from anyone. And guess where I was? Still in bed.

Okay, I did get a warning from my sister, and thankfully it was still snowing by the time we bundled up and headed out.DSC_0119

 

DSC_0219Looks familiar? This lovely hat is making another appearance because it was the only knitwear I brought back (shock!). I want to put up a similar version of this hat on Etsy, but I’m not so sure because I made it from heather yarn, the kind that unfortunately leaves a part of it on you because it’s so attached to you. The color is really nice though. Maybe I’ll make another one with yarn that sheds less than a cat after finals blow over. Of course, I’ll have to survive finals…

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Running away from finals!

 

Knit in Progress – A Cable Scarf

DSC_0225I know I’ve been out of it for a while now (blame school), but I recently started up another knit (that is not a hat!) because I was inspired by a design on a sweater I just bought. By “just bought” I mean like two weeks ago—time really does fly. I’ve actually never tried to copy a design before, mostly because I can’t figure a pattern out to save my life, but this one was simple enough, so I looked up some stitches and tried to piece it together as best as I could (technically I needed to re-familiarize myself with the fisherman’s rib stitch.

The color is called pumpkin, which is quite fitting for this season (or maybe a month ago?), and I’ve had this skein laying around for a while, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with it because it’s a very ambiguous color (if colors could be ambiguous). I didn’t think I could combine it with another color (to tone it down), but it looks great on its own, and you can actually see the pattern, so I’m happy with it so far.DSC_0227 (3)

It’s also different from the scarves I usually make (aside from when I first started out and didn’t know what infinity scarves were) because it’s going to be a traditional scarf. By “traditional” I mean that it’s going to have two ends! I normally don’t make “traditional” scarves because I find it hard to wear. Yes, I can put it on, but there are so many ways to loop it around your neck (versatility is good right?). Then there’s the fact that these scarves aren’t symmetrical when I wear them, and sometimes I can’t deal with that. Problems, problems, problems. I know. Please excuse my weird preferences.

The other thing is that I can never make both ends look the same. I guess I should look into other methods for casting off… And for me, the end that I bind off from is usually awkward and rigid, and it doesn’t feel natural. I keep considering adding tassels to the end of these projects, but I’m not much of a tassel person. Roadblock! That’s why I take detours and knit infinity scarves instead. Then again, they usually have a seam when I connect the ends…

Does anyone else have these have these problems or am I just overthinking everything?

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Fall Photo Shoot Featuring Knitwear

It’s a beautiful day. U2 said it best. It’s also a beautiful day for a fall shoot featuring some hats that will be coming to my Etsy shop soon!

The pictures were taken by my sister because someone had to be the model… (Apparently I model, mostly hands and hair. Yes, hand modeling is a thing.)

The location was on my college campus. I’m not sure whether I should reveal which college I go to (mostly for stalkerish reasons), but it’s at a place called Duck Pond.

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Slightly Slouchy Lacy Hat

Slightly Slouchy Lacy Hat with Brim Folded Up

Slightly Slouchy Lacy Hat with Brim Folded Up

This elephant hat was made by my sister and will be featured on Etsy shortly.

One of a Kind Elephant Hat

One of a Kind Elephant Hat

 

Close-up of the Elephant Design

Close-up of the Elephant Design

Super Slouchy Multicolored Hat

Super Slouchy Multicolored Hat

Fun Fact: This scarf was my first infinity scarf! It also happens to be my favorite, mostly because of the color and how wonderfully soft it is. The pattern came from this site called Sea of Knits and is called the Ribbed Annabelle. Since it’s not my design, it’s not up for sale, but I highly recommend you check out the pattern and knit your own!

My Favorite Scarf

Last but not least, my favorite hat handcrafted by my sister. I’m trying to convince her to give it to me on a certain holiday … so we’ll see, but if you like it, let me know and maybe I can convince her to make one in your favorite colors 😉

White and Grey Stripe Hat with Pom Pom

White and Grey Stripe Hat with Pom Pom

 

Knit in Progress: Gold Infinity Scarf

DSC_0255My favorite things to wear are infinity scarves. They’re so convenient to loop around your neck as you head out the door. This is why my newest project is—wait for it—an infinity scarf!

I really have no idea where it’ll go. Thrilling isn’t it? The prospect of the unknown or as I like to call it the “art of winging it.” It’s what I’m good at.

So all I know is that I’m knitting it with 100% acrylic yarn from Simply Soft Caron and that it’s two hundred stitches in length. I’m using 24-inch circular needles, so I won’t have to bind/join two ends together (if you know what the heck I’m talking about. Don’t worry about it if you don’t.), which means that each row is very long. Hence my goal is to knit at least one round per day, I don’t know how wide it’s going to be, but I’ll finish it in thirty days at most (if all goes well).

A whole month for a scarf? No, it’ll probably take less because I’m highly motivated right now and have been averaging at three rows per day. I know I won’t be keeping this up though because my upcoming week is booked.

Like I said, I’m winging it as I go along, which is normal when I’m designing my own projects. I’m not sure if this is the norm for other knitters, but it is for me.

Right now, it’s my third day, and I’m feeling pretty good about my progress because I have exams coming up, which means I get to knit! Okay, so I try to use my time wisely to study, but one of my classes involves memorizing concepts, and what’s better than memorizing information than while knitting?DSC_0263

So this is my attempt in making an infinity (or circular) scarf. It will most likely have eyelets/lace because I’m a huge fan, but that’s all I know for now. It might be a fail or it might be a hit (yeah, a one-hit-wonder…), who knows? For now, I’ll just keep on knitting.

A Pair of Legwarmers

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Autumn is a beautiful time of year at least in my opinion because it means I get to wear knitwear without having to look out of place. Not that I look out of place in the first place, it’s just that I refrain from wearing sweaters and hats until the temperature drops a little.

DSC_0190 This brings me to a type of knitwear that is usually overlooked when I delve into a new knitting project: the legwarmers. Sadly, these aren’t the first real pair I’ve knitted, but they are the second. The first pair hardly counted because they were a walking disaster (pun intended). I underestimated the size of normal legs (human legs, that is, because they were perfect for chicken legs), but they are flawlessly useful as armwarmers (if that’s a thing. If not, I’m making it a thing.).

Seriously, our legs are overlooked. You have hats for your heads, socks for warming your feet, mittens/gloves for your hands, scarves for your fashion statement (just kidding), and armwarmers (it’s a thing at this point) for your arms. What’s missing from the bundle? Legwarmers!

Now as a college student who isn’t really looking forward to the winter walks between her classes, a pair of legwarmers might come in handy. My college campus and the whole town in general has some pretty harsh and biting wind. Walking through tunnels are the worst, and not to mention this wide expanse in the middle of campus where the wind hits the hardest.

Aside from buying a face guard, I’m usually all covered, but there were several moments last winter where I was crossing campus and my legs started tingling like they were going to fall off. But this year, I’ll come prepare. I have my nifty legwarmers!

Legwarmers, however underrated they may be, will never again be disregarded by this college student.DSC_0206

What kind of article are you missing from your wardrobe that you wish you had?

For example, I wish I had an Imagine Dragons t-shirt because they’re one of my favorite bands. I also wish I could see them in concert, but that’s a little too much to ask…

Cable-Lace Multicolored Hat

IMG_8490This hat is one of my absolute favorite things I’ve knitted so far. I went through this phase over the summer where I knitted hats that came from the same balls of yarn. By that I mean I used gray, off-white, and maroon yarn from Lion Brand Wool-Ease. This was also one of the first time that I’ve worked with yarn that was not solely based on 100% acrylic.DSC_0130

See, I’ve always liked multiple colors on a hat, but I hated changing yarn colors because (1) I’ll have all these loose ends to weave in and (2) the colors don’t align perfectly. In the knitting world, there is this technique called jogging to even up those mismatched colors when you change yarn, but it’s not completely seamless enough for me, so I’ve always avoided switching colors. Then one day, I took one of my two favorite things to knit—the yarn over, which creates that lacey pattern—and I worked it into the row where I was changing colors.

The end result was barely noticeable, and I didn’t even have to jog the yarns! Win-win for me because I love lacey patterns and multicolor knitwear. So I started making lacey hats (you can find one of them up for sell on Etsy), but then I decided to add cables because those were the other things I love to have on hats. For a while there, I knitted Hermione’s Cable & Eyelet hat (http://jlyarnworks.blogspot.com/2008/07/hermiones-cable-eyelet-hat.html) from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price. Since they were someone else’s pattern inspired from the movie, I couldn’t sell them. Only giving them away as gifts.

But for the past two years, I’ve been trying to make my own patterns. Mainly because I would have massive headaches going through knitting sites to find the perfect pattern and because I could never find one that I truly wanted. Remember, I started knitting because I could create whatever I wanted within my abilities, so I put my creativity to use. The bonus part was that I can sell my own creations without the hassle of violating copyright laws. Win again!

This hat is actually for sell on my Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/PygmyPurls). So far, it’s one-of-a-kind. I’m also new on Etsy, a site where people can sell/buy vintage or handmade items, so to be honest I’m not sure if my prices are fair. IMG_8473

So this is where you guys come in. What price would you be willing to buy this hat for whether it’s for yourself or as a gift? (Don’t worry, you’re not signing your life away if you take the poll.)

My other main concern is that I’m not putting enough description into my listings, so I’m not sure if it’s off-putting potential customers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.